Joe McClain - Nov 21, 2011

The London Olympic Games may do wonders for the city’s reputation and provide a great advertisement for the English capital, yet leisure tourism may suffer as a result.

When it was announced that London would be the scene for the next Olympic Games in 2012, huge numbers of people were rejoicing. Amongst these celebrators were also hotel managers, theatre owners and restaurateurs.

However, it is now suggested that leisure tourism will take a dip in London next year during July and August in particular, i.e. during the Games. The blame has been attributed to the tourists and the businesses themselves.

The tourists who will flood London next summer are not the typical type of visitors, who Londoners long for. They will arrive with a specific purpose: to sit and watch a variety of sporting events without necessarily spending wads of cash.

The truth is that due to the distraction of the games they are unlikely to go to the theatre, spend a fortune on eating out and their numbers in London hotels mean that there is little room for others.

This leads to the next problem: the hotels are pricing themselves out of business for this particular period and tourists, who intend to fulfill the classic London tourist program will be put off by the Olympic masses. These elements have led to the widespread belief that leisure tourism in London will suffer a drop of 95% next year, mostly due to the summer months.

Some operators have experienced shortfalls of up to 60% in bookings for the summer months next year. It is already clear that the Olympics may actually stop many spendthrift tourists from coming to London, quite the opposite to the situation first imagined.

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